Sunday, August 09, 2009

Garden Dreams


The persimmons haven't been watered all summer and are dropping their fruit.

Saturday was a fairly quiet day. Neither Robb nor I were bursting with energy. (In fact Saturday was my first day off in two weeks.)

At my suggestion, we went over to the house, looked at the work that the painters had done* and talked about what we might do with the yard. The backyard is a huge mess, but I am really excited about the challenge. We know that we want to take down the mulberry tree. It's about to fall over, and neither of us actually like mulberries. The berries get in the treads of our shoes, and leave bloody-looking smears everywhere we walk. Once that tree is gone, the yard will open up considerably, and we'll have a more sunlight.

The neighbor's apple tree over-hangs a hideously ugly fence.
I wonder who owns the fence?

We need to get our soil tested, because where the sun beats down on the garage, the soil is full of flaked-off paint. The painters did a commendable job, and there's nary a shard of paint where they scraped. Unfortunately, the soil where I envision my veggie garden is impregnated with paint chips from years and years of peeling.

I'm thinking that I might put some dwarf fruit trees in the front yard, next to our driveway. But this won't happen right away. I want to live with the land for a while, and see what it tells me. Anyway, I need to educate myself about growing fruit.

Bay Area blog readers, do you have fruit trees? What do you love, and what do you regret?

* The sellers of the house paid for the removal of flaking paint, as well as caulking and priming. Things are looking raw and scabby at the moment. The outside of the house isn't too bad, since it is a very pale grey, but the pretty blue and green rooms inside are really dreadful-looking in their current state. The good news is that the painters scraped off most of the hideous wallpaper in the bedrooms. Less work for me to do!


Anonymous said...

Hey - I suggest that you plant sunflowers and let them work their magic- they will remove a LOT of what ever may be hanging out in the soil there-

Let them grow big and strong, and them feed the seeds to the birdies, but throw All of the stem and roots into the trash- any heavy leads trapped in the soil will be sucked up by the sunflowers and removed from your dirt- do this for 3 years straight if the dirt is horrifyingly polluted and you will have the equilivent of a fresh beautiful new truckload of topsoil when you are done removing all the roots. DO eventually build a compost heap, but dont throw any sunflower residue in it if your soil content is dangerously high in heavy metals.

It looke to me you guys will have to trim most or all of your fruit trees as well when they reach the dormant stage. Get a good book to refer to for this. My peach tree died this summer, so out it goes and apples will go in next.


Anonymous said...

In San Jose we have an old cherry tree that we pruned vigorously when we moved in several years ago. It used to produce every other year. Since we pruned it, it gives lots of bing cherries annually. We love it.!

Put in a pluot in the back two years ago. Fruit is sweet but very heavy on little branches. Will have to do major pruning late in the Fall.

While the soil is regaining health, you might try planting veggies in large pots around the yard. Works wonderfully for us with tomatoes, beans, and carrots, in addition to our traditional square-foot, raised bed garden enriched with lots of compost.

Grumpy Grinch

MommaWriter said...

Gosh, what *don't* we have down in our yard. We moved into a house with a ton of fruit trees...more than we even realized. I love all the fruit, but it really is a mess. I love our little pitiful-looking pear tree that makes beautiful and delicious red-blushed pears in the Fall. I love our Meyer Lemon, because it's awsome. We have...or had a Santa Rosa Plum tree and it produced amazing plums, but produced an awful lot of them. I pruned it too harshly, apparently. It wasn't very happy. It was happier this year, but several branches died and I fell off a ladder picking the fruit (don't need to warn you about that), so I'm not so thrilled with it anymore. We have a fantastic cherry...maybe I should take Grumpy Grinch's advice and prune it more severely. This was an off year for our cherries. We have some fantastic, but somewhat ill apricots and a wonderful, if overenthusiastic dwarf peach tree. It has great fruit, but seems to think it should produce enough for a tree 10 times its size.

I don't love our Eureka lemon, but it's fine. Our loquat tree is dying and was so big that we couldnt really get the fruit off anyway. Not sure exactly what one does with an abundance of loquats anyway. It was a pretty tree though, so I'm sorry it's going. The tree I hate the most, however is our fig tree. At this time of year it's big, beautiful and leafy, but it produces tons and tons of figs. It would be one thing if we just didn't like figs, but this tree doesn't even produce edible figs. They dry up, mold and fall EVERYWHERE about this time of year. If it was some kind of non-fruiting variety, it would be a lovely, lovely tree. Too bad it houses a terrific tree house and provides such lovely shade. Otherwise, I'm sure it'd be gone by now!

What fun to get to think about planting things though! I love our yard, but it's already so darned shady with plants, that there hardly room for more!


Karen Anne said...

Two years late, but I loved my lemon and orange trees when I lived in California.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...